Geoffrey Zakarian’s Brunch and Farmers Market Tips

by in Food Network Chef, May 22nd, 2014

Geoffrey Zakarian's Brunch and Farmers Market TipsBrunch and farmers markets: When it comes to weekend events, they’re right up there with sleeping in. FN Dish recently caught up with the chef/owner of The Lambs Club and The National, both in New York City, and asked about his strategies for shopping farmers markets and hosting a weekend brunch.

FN Dish: What are your top tips for navigating a farmers market?
Geoffrey Zakarian: First things first: Don’t buy anything for the first half-hour. See what you see. Ask for samples of everything. Then sit down for a minute and have a coffee and write down what you’re going to buy. Don’t be manic — everybody buys way too much. They get excited, they buy this and then say: “Why did I do that? This chocolate looks better, but I just bought this chocolate!” Just take a deep breath.

FN Dish: You’re hosting a brunch at your house. What do you make?
GZ: I make a roast with a bunch of vegetable side dishes that are all cooked together in one pan. Then I make a garden salad and maybe some cheese and salumi — done.

FN Dish: What’s your go-to brunch drink?
GZ: At brunch, I like rosé champagne. Bloody Marys are great, but if you start on Bloody Marys and then you want to have wine or champagne later, you’re just going to get trashed. So it’s best to start with rosé champagne; you can do champagne for the rest of the evening.

Restaurant Revisited: Living in the Dark Ages at Cave Inn BBQ

by in Shows, May 21st, 2014

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleJust when fans likely thought that Robert Irvine had seen it all after nearly eight seasons of Restaurant: Impossible, this week he opened the doors to a themed restaurant for the first time. Cave Inn BBQ, located in Winter Garden, Fla., offered a prehistoric ambiance, complete with pictures of dinosaurs and fake rocks in the dining room and a menu of hearty, meaty plates. While Robert was taken aback by Cave Inn’s display, he couldn’t convince owner Buzz Klavans to abandon his business’ theme, and ultimately Robert and the Restaurant: Impossible crew continued the theme during the transformation. After just two days and with a $10,000 budget, the Stone Age-inspired restaurant reopened, reinvigorated with a second chance at success. Read on below to hear from Buzz to find out how this business is doing today.

“Revenue has risen about 10 to 18 percent,” Buzz says. “I’m doing my best to follow all of Robert’s advice — some things are easier said than done, especially regarding [the] back of house — but we’re trying.”

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Chicken Satay Gets a Little Nuttier with Almond Butter

by in Recipes, Shows, May 21st, 2014

almond chicken satayFor this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient almond butter. Traditionally a satay is made with peanut butter, but the chefs wanted to prove that almond butter makes a great substitution, with a slightly nuttier, richer flavor. In this Almond Chicken Satay recipe, the almond butter gets combined with coconut milk to create a tasty sauce for seared chicken breast, snap peas and rice noodles. Try this unique take on the classic Thai dish for dinner tonight.

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Turducken Gets Its Due, Chicago Gets Food Oscars and Drinkable Sunscreen Gets Dismissed

by in News, May 21st, 2014

New Food Terms added to Merriam-Webster DictionaryTurducken Gets Official Recognition — Pho Sure! Foodies and linguists alike will be interested to learn that among the 150 words to be added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary in 2014, you’ll find “freegan,” “pho,” “pepita,” “poutine” and “turducken,” alongside non-food-related neologisms like “crowdfunding,” “hashtag” and “selfie.” Also to be included is “catfish” in its new sense: “a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.” So, no, not the same thing as what you might eat blackened. [Time]

Who’re You Calling the “Second City”? The prestigious James Beard Awards, which have been distributed in a gala ceremony in New York City since their inception 24 years ago, will move to Chicago for their 25th anniversary next year. James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro explained that Chicago, which she called a “great” culinary city, had extended a “very appealing offer to host the show.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Susan said, had provided “passionate support” and had demonstrated himself to be as “a true believer in the importance of culinary tourism.” [The New York Times]

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Warm Weather Trick: How to Keep Fruit Down in Sangria (VIDEO)

by in Drinks, How-to, May 21st, 2014

Let’s face it: The best part of sangria is the fruit soaked in whatever concoction you’ve mixed together. And the longer the fruit stays in the liquid, the better it gets. So take a tip from one of the original kitchen hackers himself, Alton Brown. Click play on the video above to find out how he keeps that fruit soaking to its fullest extent.

Watch: Grilling Week 2014

by in Shows, May 21st, 2014

Food Network's Grilling Week 2014 ScheduleFood Network celebrates the launch of the summer grilling season with a week of barbecue and grilling episodes, including premieres of Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games, Iron Chef America and Restaurant Impossible. Get the full schedule below.

Sunday, May 25

Guy’s Grocery Games: In the first game of this grilling episode, four chefs must use peanut butter in their grilled pizzas. Next, the chefs must dig through Guy’s Clearance Carts, filled with mystery meats, unmarked cans and more, to cook up the best dish possible. In the final game, we find out who comes out on top in the game Top Shelf/Bottom Shelf.

Iron Chef America: Grill Masters: Team USA (Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Marc Forgione and Alex Guarnaschelli) battles Team Australia (Chefs Adrian Richardson, Darren Robertson and Tobie Puttock) in a Grill Masters competition.

Cutthroat Kitchen: The ultimate backyard grill suit is unveiled. One chef’s equipment becomes all tangled up in fishnets. In the final round, claw hands are the name of the game for a barbecue chicken sandwich.

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How to Decorate Cookies for Spring

by in How-to, May 20th, 2014

If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?

Yes, Mayflowers do bring pilgrims, as this grade school riddle so memorably illustrates, but May flowers bring joy — the kind of joy that inspired me to break out my brushes so that I could paint and capture what I saw on … cookies!

Not only is it easy and fun to celebrate spring with these hand-painted watercolor flower cookies, but you can do your pretty decorating without the use of artificial dyes and additives. Herbs, fruit juice and plant dyes all can be used as food coloring, and companies like India Tree even make premade versions available for purchase. What other natural food colorings can you come up with?

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10 Kid-Friendly Memorial Day Recipes

by in Family, Holidays, May 20th, 2014

10 Kid-Friendly Memorial Day RecipesIf you’ve ever been to a potluck with a kid, you know how challenging it can be to find a plate full of food he or she is familiar enough with to enjoy. So if you have upcoming cookouts or campouts, or you just want a festive meal to celebrate the start of summer, try one of these dishes. Your kids (and everyone else’s) will thank you.

Chicken and Pineapple Skewers (pictured above): Chicken coated in favorites like soy sauce, ketchup, honey and even a little brown sugar doesn’t get much more kid friendly — until you add fresh pineapple chunks and put it all on a stick.

Better-for-You Peach Crisp: Full of whole oats, fresh fruit (like peaches, plums, apples or any fruit of your choice), along with coconut oil and crunchy almonds, this crisp is tasty and so good for you that it even works for breakfast — but we doubt you’ll have any left.

Grilled Link Hot Dogs with Homemade Pickle Relish: Sure, you can go with a package of regular dogs, but finding link hot dogs might be a fun twist for the little guys. And what kid can resist a crunchy dill pickle on a hot day? Let kids help you make this tangy relish and watch those proud faces when it’s time to serve.

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